As autumn approaches, many UK homeowners and tenants are becoming increasingly concerned about the cost of keeping their houses warm as temperatures inevitably start to drop. What’s more, keeping fans and air conditioning running throughout the heatwave has seen many households face extremely expensive energy bills thanks to soaring electricity prices.
Thankfully, the government has instigated a set of support measures to help with the increasing cost of living: The Energy Bills Support Scheme. But what is it, who will receive it, and how much will it help you?
In short, households will be able to receive £400 off their energy bills as part of the £11.7 billion scheme that seeks to counteract the current crisis surrounding energy costs rising. This has been doubled from its previous amount of £200 in the face of continuous energy price increases.
Households will start to receive their price reductions in October 2022, and applicable households should continue to receive a subsequent five instalments until March 2023.
The government has planned for £37 billion in cost-of-living assistance to be distributed in order to tackle the steadily worsening cost of living crisis and inflation. It was reported this week that yearly energy costs were set to increase yet again to over £4,200, and continue to rise to over £4,400 by Spring 2023, which is set to place many British households in financial jeopardy.
Many families struggled to keep their homes cool this summer due to the record-breaking heatwave temperatures, with fans and air conditioning working overtime to keep us comfortable. Unfortunately, the heatwave coincided with a rapid rise in electricity costs and peak in inflation, which meant that many households incurred exceptionally high bills as a result. This doesn’t bode well for winter, as households will be increasing their energy usage even more in order to fend off the cold.
All 29 million households across Great Britain will be eligible for the funding – so long as you have a domestic energy connection, the savings will be automatically applied. For properties such as park homes that do not have a traditional domestic energy connection, and for properties in Northern Ireland, similar money-saving measures are set to be put into motion in the coming months.
Citizens Advice have warned that over half a million tenants could miss out on receiving the support they are entitled to. This is because approximately thirteen per cent of private renters have energy bills included in their rent, leaving them at the mercy of their landlords to make the relevant reductions to their rental packages to reflect the government’s subsidies.
But what can tenants do to protect themselves? We recommend keeping track of your energy usage carefully and monitoring precisely what your usage is worth, as your landlord is only legally able to charge you for the energy you’ve used. Ultimately, in the cases where your energy bills are included in your rent payments, landlords should be taking on these additional costs. Having a reliable document evidencing your energy usage will be helpful in settling any potential disputes that may arise.
Although the £400 in government funding is undoubtedly helpful, many households are concerned that more measures are necessary to make a tangible difference to their energy bills. Here are a few alternative methods for keeping costs down as energy prices go up:
For more information on the latest property updates, and advice for tenants, buyers and home-movers, stay up to date with Centrick’s blog. Alternatively, if you have any further questions concerning the rising cost of living, contact a member of our team below: we’d be happy to answer any queries you may have!
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